Outdoor

Just one hour east of Pueblo sits Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, a reconstructed 1840’s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail where traders, trappers, travelers and Plains Indian tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade. Today, living historians recreate the sights, sounds and smells of the past with guided tours, demonstrations, and special events.

Blessed with water, sunshine and fertile soil, St. Charles Mesa was settled in the late 1800s/early 1900s by mostly Italian immigrants. These families continue to farm the land of their ancestors with world-famous Mira Sol chiles and lots of other farm-fresh wonders. During the growing and harvest seasons, people can visit farms to buy produce and even pick their own.

This amazing one-man-made castle is part artistry, part craftsmanship and part entertainment. Nestled right along the edge of the San Isabel National Forest, the castle is still a work-in-progress – created only with the heavy labor of artisan Jim Bishop. Bishop is also well-known for his hand-painted signs and spontaneous soliloquies.

The friendly atmosphere of the Pueblo Zoo makes it a favorite attraction for families. Located in City Park, it exhibits more than 350 animals from 122 species, including several endangered animals. The zoo’s lovely gardens invite relaxing picnics. Its exceptional education programs are great for students of all ages. One of the most popular new exhibits features playful northern river otters.

The Pueblo Chile has slowly grown from a local favorite into a phenomenon that attracts chili aficionados from around the world. Visitors to Pueblo make it a point to find sellers of the little green delights, and make sure they have enough to last throughout the year. Now, a new trend in tourism has emerged in Pueblo. The Pueblo Chile is now not only a culinary staple, but an industry that draws adventurers looking for “alternative forms of tourism” from every corner of the planet. Lovers of the Pueblo Chile can now experience it in a whole new way, and experience it at its source in a growing tourism trend known as “Agritourism.”

The Nature & Raptor Center of Pueblo is located in beautiful Rock Canyon on the banks of the Arkansas River. A delicate blend of aquatic, riparian, transition and semi-arid grassland habitats provide homes to a wealth of plants and animals. Dine in style at the restaurant overlooking the Arkansas River, enjoy an educational talk and demonstration about birds of prey, and bike along the extensive river trail network.

Enjoy a stroll in the cultural heart of Pueblo! This non-profit outdoor sculpture project promotes art as an important element in arts education, cultural pride and community redevelopment. Located in the heart of Downtown Pueblo near the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Buell Children’s Museum, Pueblo Convention Center, and the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk, the Street Gallery features works by Colorado artists. Except for pieces purchased for permanent placement, each sculpture is exhibited for one year, most sculptures are for sale. Contact Margaret Ward Masias at (719) 543-7155, for entry, purchase information or to make contributions.

With 11 days and half-a-million visitors, the Colorado State Fair is the perfect entertainment-filled end to the summer. From monster trucks and beloved Fiesta Day to carnival rides and livestock auctions, the Colorado State Fair is amplified family fun.

Dine, stroll or enjoy a boat or gondola ride along this river-inspired park. After a devastating flood in 1921, the Arkansas River was diverted to a different location. The Historic Arkansas Riverwalk commemorates the river’s original location with history, public art, interactive fountains, and great events. The international headquarters for the Professional Bull Riders Association also saddles up along the Riverwalk.

The Arkansas River that slices through Pueblo’s downtown area is a recreation rock star, offering everything from fly-fishing and rafting west of Pueblo to world-class bird watching and fishing at Valco Ponds. For kayakers and boogie boarders, Pueblo’s Whitewater Park is an urban kayak course with eight drops and is surrounded by a collective mural considered the world’s longest public-created art.

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